Browse Month: August 2011

08/25/2011

These posters are awesome.

08/25/2011

I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat…

This is the start of a famous newsgroup post by Linus Torvalds. It was twenty years ago today that he announced his “hobby” operating system, which he named Linux.

As a loyal Linux user for a little over fifteen years now, I’m grateful for that little hobby project he started. And I’m amazed at what it’s become: a major force in the world of software, and one of the key components of the incredible array of technological wizardry that surrounds us every day. From the web server running this page to the cell phone in my pocket, Linux sits quietly behind it.

So happy 20th birthday (so to speak), Linux!

08/23/2011

Tonight we had our traditional Zing outing to see the Rockies (the baseball team, not the mountains). They played the Astros tonight and the game went back and forth all night with a final 8-6 win for the home team. Brian found some great seats right behind home plate so we have a fabulous view of the game. All in all, another good time for the ol’ company team… plus Therese, of course.

08/20/2011

Well, another awesome summer season of Grass Roots Ultimate has come to a close. Today was the annual tournament, and our team managed to do pretty well. We crushed the first two teams we played, and in the semi-finals we ended up playing the top-seeded team and lost a heartbreaker. We ended up in third place overall.

As always, the team was a lot of fun and we all had a great time.

I’ve been playing in this league for eleven years now, and still love it every year. I’m already looking forward to next summer.

08/19/2011

Normandy was scarier than I thought.

08/14/2011

Finally, I’ve been vindicated.

For at least a decade I’ve felt that the astrophysicists’ theory of “dark matter” was nothing more than a convenient math trick to explain anomalies in physical observations. Call it a kludge or whatever– it just seemed like they made up some mysterious invisible substance that made the equations balance. Just like Einstein’s Cosmological Constant– which he latter admitted was the biggest folly of his illustrious career– dark matter feels wrong.

Well, now a physicist has come out and said as much. He thinks there are alternative explanations, and we should darn well get to work figuring out where the missing mass really is.

First comment on Slashdot:

“Dark matter is the ugliest kludge to the standard model ever. It’s worse than the Plus upgrade for Windows 98.”

As someone who remembers Plus, I can only chuckle at the analogy.

08/14/2011

Cool. A photo of a Perseid meteor taken from the International Space Station.

Instead of the usual shot of a shooting star coming toward you, it’s actually below the photographer. A rare sight indeed.

08/11/2011

Whoever thinks it’s too late to patent things that are obvious has clearly not read Google’s latest patent. In part, it says:

The broker sends an electronic message, such as an email or text message, to the customer prior to the estimated shipment arrival time to inform the customer of the impending arrival. The customer can thus arrange for someone to be at the shipping address to receive the shipment at the estimated arrival time.

Holy cow! That’s innovation!

For those who are confused or flabbergasted by such technology, Google has provided a helpful diagram showing this amazing process.

Does anyone in the room still believe the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is doing a good job reviewing applications like this?

08/06/2011

Last week we were at Rocky Mountain National Park with mom and dad. The kids stopped to pose on just about every rock along the trail.

I love how Zack and especially Alex have adopted the “too cool for school” pose.

08/06/2011

A couple of weeks ago when I was camping and rafting with Alex, I had the van (to haul the supplies for the Scouts) and that left Laralee with my car. Of course she used it to tool around town running errands and dropping off kids and all the usual mom stuff.

When I was back, I drove Kyra to the store and she commented that my driving was “so much smoother than mom’s”. Maybe Laralee’s manual transmission skills have lapsed a little bit or something.

Of course when I mentioned Kyra’s comment to her, Laralee was indignant. “I drive a stick shift just fine!” Harumph, harumph.

08/06/2011

I’ve heard a lot of good things about so-called “stand-up desks”. There’s been a flurry of recent studies claiming that sitting all day– even if you get up and exercise– can lead to increased incidence of heart problems. I know a couple of people who have stand-up desks and they say they’re great.

Since I’m sitting most days and don’t really feel like having a heart attack any time soon, I figured it would be worth digging into a bit. But motorized desks (which adjust from a sitting to standing position) are pretty spendy, and I don’t want to leap right into this and buy a new stand-up desk without giving it a trial run.

So with a bit of engineering, I converted my trusty basement office desk into a stand-up version. It involved eight cinder blocks from Lowe’s (total cost: $14) and help from a neighbor, but my desk is now sixteen inches higher and a perfect height for standing.

Do the cinder blocks look ghetto? Absolutely. I’ll run with this for a few weeks and if it turns out that standing is as awesome as everyone says, I’ll think about getting something a little more professional. In the meantime, if my feet get tired I’ve got a barstool right behind me.

08/04/2011

According to a poll by the New York Times, only 14% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.

About time. Hopefully we’ll see a huge shakeup in next year’s elections. In the meantime, I just watch my savings plummet as Congress plays chicken on the world stage.